Visa announces new crypto consulting service for merchants and banks

Visa’s new crypto consulting services to push for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Payments giant Visa is launching new consulting and advisory services in a move to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies. 

The firm said on Wednesday that its crypto advisory practice, housed within its consulting and analytics division, will offer advice to financial institutions, retailers and other firms on everything from rolling out crypto features and exploring nonfungible tokens to developing wallets for central bank digital currencies.

According to Visa, part of banks’ interest in cryptocurrencies is in remaining competitive. Citing a recent in-house study, Visa said that “40% of crypto owners surveyed report they would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.”

Per Reuters, American financial services company UMB is a client of Visa’s crypto advisory services. 

“We came to Visa to learn more about crypto and stablecoins and the use cases that are most relevant for our retail and commercial business lines,” said Uma Wilson, executive vice president of UMB Bank.

Related: Mastercard is preparing its infrastructure for the deployment of CBDCs

The move marks Visa’s latest attempt to push deeper into the cryptocurrency industry, with the firm having filed for numerous blockchain-related patents in the past. Visa’s research team is also working on a “Universal Payment Channel” project, which is a blockchain interoperability hub connecting multiple blockchain networks and allowing digital assets to move from various protocols and wallets.

Visa is one of the many payments processors that has entered the cryptocurrency business in recent years. Its rival, Mastercard, recently rolled out crypto-linked payment cards throughout the Asia-Pacific region, while online payments giants PayPal launched a new consumer app for crypto, savings and direct deposits earlier this year.

Amex, Visa, Citi, Paypal Invest in Crypto Transaction Monitoring and Forensics Platform

Amex, Visa, Citi, Paypal Invest in Crypto Transaction Monitoring and Forensics Platform

American Express’ Amex Ventures, Visa, Citi Ventures, DRW Venture Capital, Jump Capital, Marshall Wace, Block (formerly Square Inc.), and Paypal Ventures are among investors in the latest funding round of crypto transaction monitoring and forensics platform TRM.

Amex, Visa, Citi, Paypal Invest in TRM Platform

Crypto transaction monitoring and forensics platform TRM announced Tuesday investments from major financial institutions in its Series B funding round.

The company has raised $60 billion from leading financial institutions, including American Express’ Amex Ventures, Visa, Citi Ventures, DRW Venture Capital, Jump Capital, Marshall Wace, Block (formerly Square Inc.), and Paypal Ventures.

The funding round was led by Tiger Global. It also included investments from 50 of the world’s leading operators including Coinbase President and COO Emilie Choi.

Esteban Castaño, TRM’s cofounder and CEO, commented:

Crypto is moving faster than any sector in our lifetimes. Organizations need a blockchain intelligence partner that can stay ahead of the evolving risk landscape — from ransomware attacks to defi [decentralized finance] exploits.

TRM detailed: “In support of our mission to build a safer financial system for billions of people, we developed the first blockchain intelligence platform that combines cross-chain data with threat intelligence, advanced analytics, and intuitive visualizations to help organizations detect crypto fraud and financial crime.”

Crypto businesses — such as Circle, FTX US, and Moonpay — “use TRM Transaction Monitoring to detect suspicious activity and meet anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory requirements,” the company said, adding:

Government agencies use TRM Forensics to investigate sophisticated crypto-related crime including scams, hacks, and terrorist financing.

The TRM team includes threat finance experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Secret Service, and Europol. It also includes data scientists from companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google.

What do you think about major companies investing in TRM? Let us know in the comments section below.